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Backstreet Boys Shopping For New Record Label

Just weeks after 'N Sync opened a legal can of worms by breaking its contract with RCA Records to jump to Jive Records, Jive labelmates the Backstreet Boys are now playing their own game of contractual hardball.

Attorneys for the Backstreet Boys charge that Jive has breached its contract with the group and that Backstreet is no longer on the label, which is also the home of Britney Spears as well as 'N Sync.

As we previously reported, 'N Sync's move to Jive allegedly angered the Backstreet Boys, even though both groups were created (and at one time managed) by Orlando-based boy band guru Louis J. Pearlman (see "Greenbacks And Red Tape: Sorting Out 'N Sync's New Deal").

A spokesperson for Jive told MTV News that the group was "signed to a long-term exclusive agreement with Jive Records."

While Backstreet's management wouldn't comment on the legal wrangling, a spokeswoman for the group did say that the guys "don't have a problem with 'N Sync" and that their current North American tour would not be affected.

"We're not just a quote-unquote boy band. We're artists just like everybody else out there, like Boyz II Men and everybody else," the Boys' Howie D. told MTV News' Chris Connelly as the tour launched last month. Howie closed his comment with the now prophetic, "We just want the respect from the industry as well as the audience out there."

The Backstreet Boys have tentatively routed another North American tour for May and June of next year.

-- Kara Manning

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